Stephen (Steve)'s Story
Stephen (Steve) Jack Lawrence, previously from El Paso, Texas and Athens, Texas, died May 12, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. He was 92 years old and had been failing from the effects of Alzheimers disease for several years.
Steve began life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as Harry Goldpaint. Steve left a difficult foster home environment at 16 to join the Marines and served in World War II as a tech sergeant and navigator. Stephen always loved card games, but became fascinated with bridge while watching comrades play during his return by ship to the United States after the war was over. He changed his name to Stephen Jack Lawrence when he became of age.
Steve graduated from the College of Mines and Metallurgy (later known as the University of Texas at El Paso) where he earned degrees in geology, mathematics, and physics. He honed his bridge skills when he started college in 1947 by playing quite a bit of the time in the Student Union building. He earned over 15,000 Master Points throughout his lifetime from the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). He was a member of the ACBL for most of his adult life and earned the titles of Life Master as well as Diamond Life Master. He met his wife-to-be Frances Ann Bianchi Cuen his last semester in college and they married in April 1950. They spent the next 10 years in West Texas, Oklahoma, and in South America in Bogota Colombia and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil where he worked as a petroleum geologist.
Steve and Frances returned to the United States around 1960 and came back to El Paso, Texas where they raised four children: Annette, Russell, Angie, and Sally Jo. He used his sharp mind to rise to the top of his field as a government employee at White Sands Missile Range while also serving as president of District 16 of the ACBL (most of Texas and Mexico) in the 1970s. He retired from the Civil Service in 1984 and enjoyed many years of traveling around the country playing in bridge tournaments and teaching other players.
After Frances died in 1993, Steve lived in Athens, Texas for over 20 years with Sara Granger. He and Sara were active at the bridge club in Athens and traveled to local towns to play bridge and to direct the bridge games there.
Steve never missed a birthday or an anniversaryhe always wrote and called each of his many nieces and nephewsand he never forgot a bridge hand. He was funny, cheerful, kind, incredibly charming, and dashing, and like many of his generation who had known hardship and death, he knew how to laugh and how to enjoy life. His indomitable spirit will be missed.
Steve was predeceased by his brothers, Benny, Leon and Marty Goldpaint and sister Celie Rudolph. He is survived by his children: Annette Quinn of Atlanta, GA; Russell Lawrence of Boynton Beach, FL; Angie Lawrence of Aurora, CO; and Sally Jo Crowson of Austin, TX; plus eight grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; also by Sara Grangers children Gayla Granger Kirk, Fred and Dennis Granger. Also surviving are his sister, Sara Rovinsky, of Philadelphia, PA and her children Robert (Renana Brooks) Rovinsky of Washington, DC; Paul (Paula) Rovinsky of East Brunswick, NJ; and Sue (Gary) Levy of San Francisco, CA, his brother-in-law, Jack Rudolph, of Philadelphia, PA and Delray Beach, FL and Jacks daughter, Arlene Rudolph (Dan Hoffman) of Philadelphia, PA.
A memorial service and interment in the columbarium is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on
June 19, 2017 at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.
Published on June 5, 2017